Joel Dahmen … As the old saying goes, the past does not predict the future, but it sure does a number on expectations. Rewind to just one year ago. After placing T22 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, he withdrew from his commitment at PGA WEST in favor of rest. He then placed T9 at the Farmers Insurance Open with a clinic in finding fairways and pouring in putts. Earlier this month, he finished T12 at Waialae with a similar attack, and then withdrew early from The American Express. He's back at Torrey Pines this week. Cue the encore.
Emiliano Grillo … The winner of the Junior World Golf Championship at Torrey Pines in 2009 hasn't contended here as a professional, but he's survived three of four cuts with a personal-best T12 in 2018. He arrives this time with four straight paydays dating back to October, the most recent of which a T21 at Waialae where he ranked T9 in greens in regulation. He's averaged 14 GIR per round this season, good for T5 on TOUR.
Matthew NeSmith … For a rookie who slid into many more valleys than he scaled peaks in his only full season on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019 before breaking through for victory at the penultimate event of the Finals to secure his card on the PGA TOUR (on which he was a career 0-for-5 prior), he quickly has figured out how to navigate the pitfalls at this level. Since a T18 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, he's made five of six cuts and recorded a trio of top 20s, including a T17 last week at PGA WEST. Currently 34th in fairways hit, T31 in greens in regulation and 32nd in Strokes Gained: Putting, nothing can quantify his upward arrow of confidence.
Trey Mullinax … Equipped with two starts on a Major Medical Extension, Torrey Pines is a smart spot to return to the PGA TOUR. He sat out the last five months of 2019 before returning to sanctioned competition in the Bahamas on the Korn Ferry Tour last week. He was rusty, but he hung in there to make the cut and finish T58. A two-way T4 at the Farmers Insurance Open would fulfill the terms of his medical in one swing, but a reasonable first objective is to put himself in position to make a run at it on the weekend. He's 2-for-3 in the event with a T25 last year. For the week, he ranked T4 in greens hit, seventh in scrambling and T7 in par-5 scoring.
Harry Hall … Open qualifying never is easy, but he coasted to co-medalist honors at Bear Creek Golf Club on Monday with seven birdies to cover a lone bogey. The Farmers Insurance Open will serve as his PGA TOUR debut. The 22-year-old from England recently finished T12 at the South African Open. In his only prior start as a professional on the European Tour, he placed T15 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in September. He was a four-year letterman at UNLV where his teammates included John Oda, who just finished T2 at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay and has two top 10s on the PGA TOUR, and A.J. McInerney, who placed T10 at the 2017 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. In addition to his athleticism, Hall scales well over six feet tall, so the length at Torrey Pines South will cater to his propensity to send it.
NOTE: Sleeper is a relative term, so Rob uses unofficial criteria to determine who qualifies. Each of the following usually is determined to be ineligible for this weekly staple: Winners of the tournament on the current host course; winners in the same season; recent major champions; top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking; recent participants of team competitions.